- Fourth annual PGA TOUR Champions event generates more than $1.3 million for charity in SE Michigan and beyond (Below)
- MSU's Mel Tucker (B1G) and NIU's Thomas Hammock (MAC) Coaches of the year. (B1G and College Pg)
- B1G Football players of the week Final Regular Season (Below)
- (MGS PG.)
- Motorcross to be on NBC in 2022 (Motorsports Pg.)
- Can anyone beat Kyle Larson? Three in a row after Kansas (Below)
- B1G Hockey News and Notes (B1G/College)
- No. 1 Georgia is followed by Oklahoma after Iowa tumbles in USA TODAY Sports AFCA Coaches Poll (B1G/College)
- FINAL: MSU 20, IU 15, Spartans move to 7-0 after nail-biting road victory (Below and B1G)
- EMU falls to defending MAC Champs (Below)
CHICAGO, Ill. – Big Ten Champions Week on Big Ten Network kicks off tomorrow and features four games, including two rivalry matchups, three days of All-Big Ten award announcements and three hours of coverage on Wednesday as football’s early signing period commences.
Between noon and 12:15 p.m. ET Tuesday through Thursday via the Big Ten Network’s Twitter account, the 2020 All-Big Ten team and individual awards will be unveiled. The accolades will also available on Big Ten Network’s Facebook and Instagram channels as well as a press release from the Big Ten Conference.
On Wednesday, the Big Ten Network will host three hours of live recruiting coverage with B1G Live: Signing Day Special from 2 p.m. ET to 5 p.m. ET. Mike Hall, Gerry DiNardo, Howard Griffith and Allen Trieu, Midwest Football Recruiting Analyst for 247 Sports, will examine the incoming classes at all 14 Big Ten schools in addition to interviews with Tom Allen, Jeff Brohm, Paul Chryst, P.J. Fleck, Scott Frost, Michael Locksley, Mel Tucker, Greg Schiano and more.
According to 247Sports composite team rankings, the Big Ten currently has seven of the top 25 recruiting classes in the country, led by No. 2 Ohio State, No. 9 Michigan, No. 16 Wisconsin, No. 20 Penn State, No. 21 Iowa, No. 22 Nebraska and No. 25 Maryland.
The week concludes with four games on Big Ten Network, including battles for Paul Bunyan’s Axe and the Old Oaken Bucket. On Friday, Nebraska visits Rutgers at 4 p.m. ET, followed by in-state rivals Purdue and Indiana kicking off at 7:30 p.m. ET. Saturday morning begins with a second rivalry game as Minnesota visits Wisconsin at 4 p.m. ET, before Michigan State takes on Maryland at 7:30 p.m. ET.
Also on Saturday, the 2020 Big Ten Football Championship Game presented by Discover headlines FOX College Football’s Big Noon Kickoff. In a rematch from 2018’s conference championship game, Ohio State will take on Northwestern at Noon ET in Lucas Oil Stadium.
JULIA HUREN WINS MDUSBC QUEENS AT THUNDERBOWL
Julia Huren of Westland defeated Robin Orlikowski of Grand Rapids 225-192 in the final match to win the MDUSBC Queens at Thunderbowl Lanes in Allen Park.
Huren had lost to Orlikowski 219-205 to force a final and deciding match. Huren won the title and $1,000, while Orlikowski settled for $500.
Huren qualified second with a six-game total of 1,376 on games of 189, 236, 279, 248, 190 and 234. In match play she beat Sheri Verespej of Newport226-201, Lauren Krywy of Sterling Heights 233-180 and Orlikowski the first time 248-236. She then had to wait for a challenger to emerge from the loser's bracket in the double-elimination format. She averaged 228.5 for 11
games of competition.
Orlikowski, the 2017 MDUSBC Queens champion, qualified fourth with 1,332 with a high game of 244. In match play she beat Nicole Harrison of Clinton Township 225-220, top qualifier Brandie Reamy of Livonia 234-204, before falling to Huren the first time 248-236. In the loser's bracket she beat
Harrison the second time 259-234 to advance to the championship match. She averaged 224.7 for 12 games.
Harrison finished third for $300 and Verespej fourth for $200.
Reamy shot 300 in her first match win over Madalyn Klein of Whitmore Lake and settled for $175.
The entire 30 person qualifying field averaged 201.3.
LATE TD PASS, KEY DEFENSIVE PLAYS HELP TOLEDO DEFEAT CENTRAL MICHIGAN, 24-23, IN SEASON FINALE
TOLEDO, Ohio - Sophomore quarterback Carter Bradley threaded the CMU defense to hit redshirt freshman wide receiver Jerjuan Newton for a game-winning 28-yard TD pass to give Toledo a 24-23 victory over Central Michigan at the Glass Bowl on Saturday.
Despite trailing for much of the second half, the Rockets saved their best for last in the season finale. Bradley's clutch TD toss with 1:31 to go put his team up by one, then junior defensive end Terrance Taylor stopped the Chippewas' final drive with a strip sack on their final offensive drive. Junior running back Bryant Koback then ran for a first down on third-and-17 to clinch the victory.
"Really happy for our football team and the way they were able to persevere down the stretch," head coach Jason Candle said. "I'm really proud of our guys. I'm happy to get a win today against a good football team on a windy day. Our guys really answered the bell today, even if it wasn't pretty at times."
Toledo (4-2, 4-2 MAC) was able to overcome a Central Michigan (3-3, 3-3 MAC) defense that forced four UT turnovers and recorded six sacks on the afternoon. The victory clinched a share of second place in the MAC West Division with Western Michigan.
Bradley completed 18-of-33 passes for 265 yards and three touchdowns. Koback added 123 yards on the ground, the seventh 100-yard performance of his career and second of the season. He also led the team with five receptions for 44 yards and a TD, while Newton and junior wide receiver Isaiah Winstead both caught touchdowns as well. On the defensive side, junior linebacker Dyontae Johnson led the team with 10 tackles and junior defensive end Desjuan Johnson added eight stops with 2.5 tackles for loss.
Central Michigan opened the contest with an eight-play, 75-yard drive that ended with an 18-yard touchdown pass from Kobe Lewis to Kalil Pimpleton. Lewis lined up in the wildcat and faked a run before fading back and hitting Pimpleton in the end zone. Toledo tied it up on a 15-yard TD reception by Bryant Koback from Carter Bradley that capped a 45-yard drive. Later in the quarter, Thomas Cluckey converted a 24-yard field goal to give Toledo a 10-7 lead.
CMU tied the contest at 10-10 on a 23-yard field goal by Marshall Meeder early in the quarter. The score remained deadlocked until Bradley hit Isaiah Winstead for a 13-yard TD completion with 27 seconds left in the half.
The Chippewas tied the score on their first play from scrimmage in the second half, a 68-yard TD run by Lew Nichols. Later in the quarter, CMU took a 20-17 lead on a career-long, wind-aided 53-yard field goal by Meeder. Following an interception, Meeder connected again, this time from 47 yards to push the CMU lead to 23-17.
The Rocket defense held Central Michigan in check long enough to put together an 11-play, 83-yard scoring drive to take a 24-23 lead. Facing a third-and-22, Bradley perfectly placed a 28-yard TD pass into the hands of Jerjuan Newton to put Toledo ahead with 1:33 to play. On the ensuing CMU drive, Terrance Taylor's strip sack of quarterback Ty Brock gave Toledo the ball back with just over a minute to play. The Rockets were able to run out the final 71 seconds to put away the Chippewas. Bryant Koback sealed the win with a 27-yard run on third-and-17 in the waning seconds.
Lions hot prospect coach is local
The Detroit Lions should bring home Robert Saleh to be their next head coach.by Bob Heyrman- Detroit Jock City
It’s a Detroit Lions franchise that is desperately seeking a new identity. What better way for Shelia Ford Hamp and Rod Wood to hit the reset button by bringing in a highly motivated, eager, highly regarded defensive coordinator, Robert Saleh to be the teams’ next head coach.
Over the last year, I’ve lobbied for the organization to hire an offensive-minded head coach after the disaster we’ve seen from Matt Patricia. I’ve shifted my thought process watching how well the San Francisco 49ers defense has performed in 2020, considering all of the pieces they’ve been forced to play without. Oh, and it doesn’t hurt knowing Saleh is a hometown guy, having grown up in Dearborn, Michigan.
The 41-year old DC started his coaching career as an assistant with Michigan State, then moving on to Central Michigan and Georgia before heading to the Houston Texans and Seattle Seahawks. After cutting his teeth as an assistant in various capacities, Saleh finally received an opportunity to be a lead positional coach with the Jacksonville Jaguars coaching the linebackers. That success landed him a DC job with the 49ers, coaching on Kyle Shanahan’s staff.
After enjoying tremendous success, Saleh interviewed last season for the Cleveland Browns job as the 49ers were heading to another Super Bowl appearance, but the job eventually went to Kevin Stefanski, who previously called the Minnesota Vikings offense.
The 49ers have struggled in 2020 to gear up for another title run, mostly due to a plethora of injuries scattered throughout their roster. The 49ers have not only been playing without their starting quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo on offense, but they’ve also been forced to start their fourth and fifth running backs and wide receivers multiple times.
On the defensive side of the ball, Saleh’s been required to operate without super-star defensive end Nick Bosa, plus Richard Sherman, Arik Armstead, Dee Ford, Ronald Blair, Solomon Thomas, Jaquiski Tartt, and Ziggy Ansah.
Oh, and don’t forget the 49ers opted to trade away one of the league’s top interior defenders in DeForest Buckner this past offseason knowing they’d be tight against the salary cap.
With all that said, the 49ers are still producing a top-five defense in 2020 (Before Monday night’s game). The 49ers rank 10th defending the run plus ranking fourth against the pass.
A lot of this success is due to Saleh’s ability to scheme an efficient game plan with the resources he’s been given week after week.
During the 2019 season with a healthy group, the 49ers had been able to generate pressure without blitzing. Buckner, Bosa, and company had the ability to make things happen with their raw talent allowing the 49ers to drop into coverage.
Per Pro Football Reference, in 2019, the 49ers defense created the most pressure, 14.7% blitzing the fourth-least, 20.9% of the time. For the record, in the same season, the Detroit Lions blitzed the third-fewest times, just 18% of the teams’ defensive snaps, creating pressure just 8% of the time, ninth-worst across the league.
Fast forward to 2020.
The 49ers are blitzing a whopping 33.2% of the time, the tenth MOST in the NFL, creating the third MOST pressure at 11.6% of the time. Think about that for a second, knowing they’ve been operating as a top-five overall defense with all of the players they have missing.
Robert Saleh has done a tremendous job changing his overall philosophy, adapting to the players at his disposal. He’s exactly what the Detroit Lions need to turn their atrocious defense around. If he opted to retain Darrell Bevell for another year to be his offensive coordinator while he focuses on repairing the defense; I’d be all for it.
2020 PBA TOUR PLAYER AWARDS FINALIST NOMINEES SELECTED
By- DDZIOMBA -PBA Tour.com
Chris Schenkel PBA Player of the Year, Steve Nagy Sportsmanship and Tony Reyes PBA Community Service Honors to be Announced on Dec. 18New York, NY – In what was one of the most challenging and unprecedented years in the history of the PBA, the Tour’s brightest stars showed up to compete on and off the lanes.
For 2020, these stars will be honored in three categories – Chris Schenkel PBA Player of the Year, Steve Nagy Sportsmanship Award, and the Tony Reyes Community Service Award.
Player of the Year honors will award the Tour’s top player, the Nagy Sportsmanship Award will be given out to the player who has shown exemplary sportsmanship, and the Reyes Award will recognize a PBA member who has done extraordinary community service and/or charitable contributions in the calendar year.
There will be no Harry Golden Rookie of the Year for 2020 due to the complications created by the COVID-19 pandemic. Rookie players will be eligible for the award in 2021.
Player of the Year nominees consist of the top eight earners in the 2020 season. Candidates in alphabetical order: are, Australia’s Jason Belmonte; Bill O’Neill of Langhorne, Pa.; Kris Prather of Plainfield, Ill.; Sean Rash of Montgomery, Ill.; Mo.; Anthony Simonsen of Little Elm, Texas, Sweden’s Jesper Svensson, EJ Tackett of Bluffton, Ind., and Kyle Troup of Taylorsville, N.C.
The PBA Player of the Year will be selected by a panel of veteran bowling writers and the entire PBA membership. The Nagy Sportsmanship Award winner is selected by PBA Tour players who have bowled in at least half of the current season’s tournaments. The Reyes Award recipient is selected by a special panel of PBA leaders.
The annual awards will be announced by PBA CEO Colie Edison and PBA Commissioner Tom Clark during a special presentation awards show on Dec. 18. More details to be announced at a later date.
Last year’s winners of the PBA’s four prestigious awards were Jason Belmonte, Player of the Year; Mykel Holliman, Rookie of the Year; Martin Larsen, Nagy Sportsmanship Award, and Chuck Gardner, Tony Reyes Community Service Award.
Elijah McKown- The State News
Fresh off a huge win over Big Ten West leader Northwestern, Michigan State looked like a team with hope. As Ohio State came into East Lansing shorthanded with four starters, and 23 total players, some thought the Spartans could have a chance.
That couldn’t be further from the truth as Justin Fields and the Ohio State Buckeyes thrashed Michigan State, 52-12 Saturday afternoon at Spartan Stadium.
Fields, OSU's all-important quarterback, got things going early for the Buckeyes on their first drive after holding Michigan State for a three and out to begin the game. Right after Michael Fletcher was tabbed with a roughing the passer penalty on third down, Fields and his running back Master Teague torched the Michigan State defense on the ground as Fields finished the drive by escaping five Michigan State defenders for a walk-in touchdown.
The Michigan State offense was dismal the entire first half as they finished with just 80 total yards in the first half. The Spartan offense began that poor display on offense in the first half with four consecutive three and outs.
The Buckeyes took advantage of the Spartans’ struggles going up 28-0 at the end of the first half on the back of Fields’ legs.
With two minutes left to go in the first quarter, Fields began the drive by scrambling outside of the pocket and turning up field for a 44 yard gain to the Michigan State 28. On the next set of downs Fields would find Garrett Wilson for a 28 yard touchdown pass to cap off a 72 yard, 41 second drive.
Self enforced errors and penalties were killers for Michigan State. Following Ohio State’s quick striking drive, Michigan State again went three and out and gave the ball back to Ohio State. Michigan State then committed a holding penalty as Ohio State was facing third and five to keep the chains moving.
As Ohio State drove inside Michigan State’s 10, the Spartans looked to have a big sack coming out of a timeout, only to have 12 players on the field. Fields would cap off the drive with his second touchdown run of the game.
Michigan State quarterback Rocky Lombardi struggled in the first half as the run game looked flat and miscommunication on routes hampered the passing attack. Backed up into his own endzone, the Ohio State defense was able to deflect his pass and come up with an interception to add to the already bleak game.
Lombardi would later leave the game with what appeared to be a shoulder injury. Redshirt quarterback Payton Thorne stepped in to replace Lombardi for the remainder of the game.
Michigan State would get their first drive of substance in the game before the end of the half as Thorne was able to provide a spark to the MSU offense through the air. Driving inside Ohio State territory for the first time, Thorne couldn’t break the seal for the Spartans as he was stripped for a fumble to end the first half.
On the Spartans next drive Thorne would continue to look efficient in the beginning of the second half. On their first second half drive, Thorne drove the Spartans back into Ohio State territory but came up short as the Spartans questionably chose to punt.
The Buckeyes continued to flex their muscles as graduate transfer running back Trey Sermon flashed past the Spartan defense for a 64 yard touchdown run.
WES MALOTT WINS FOR THE PORTLAND LUMBERJACKS IN THE FIRST-EVER PBA LEAGUE ALL STAR CLASH
New York, NY — 2020 will go down as the year most of us will want to forget, but it’s certainly been very memorable for Wes Malott and the Portland Lumberjacks!
Malott emerged as the first-ever PBA League All Star Clash Champion taking down Hall of Famer and longtime doubles partner, Dallas Strikers’ Norm Duke in the final round of unpredictable and always exciting sudden-death style special event at Bowlero Centreville.
“In this type of format, it can really go anyway, said Malott. “To know that I have these guys (referring to his Lumberjack teammates) supporting me on the sidelines in this particular environment. I wouldn’t want it any other way. This win is for all of us!”
The Lumberjacks, who won back-to-back PBA League Elias Cup championships just two months ago in the same building have built a franchise winning team with strong chemistry and trust in the two-time PBA League MVP Malott.
“This is the franchise player,” said Lumberjacks teammate Kyle Troup about Malott in the first round of competition. “We know he has ten back every shot and he’s chopping down the competition one shot at a time.”
The Lumberjacks support for Malott never faltered throughout the competition.
“Wes is sharp, he has good ball reaction and a lot of confidence,” added Troup about Malott’s game in the tenth round with three players remaining.
Troup was right as Malott outlasted eleven PBA and PWBA Tour professionals to capture the $50,000 first-place prize for his team.
It was not all smooth sailing for Malott, who had a lucky break in round five getting a late strike. All players struck in the round, forcing a roll-off between the remaining eight competitors. Malott easily struck in his next shot to continue his champion run.
Stealing the show for the first ten rounds of the competition was Danielle McEwan of the Miami Waves, one of two PWBA Tour players who brought her A-game to compete against the best in the world.
McEwan, who competed in the PBA Summer Clash in June, used the experience to her advantage, plus the anchor position in the event’s format to knock out Philadelphia Hitmen’s Dom Barrett in round one, Silver Lake Atom Splitters’ Chris Barnes in round three, Phoenix Fury’s Liz Johnson in round four, L.A. X’s Jason Belmonte in round six, NYC KingPins’ Pete Weber in round seven, and Las Vegas High Rollers’ Francois Lavoie in round eight. Remaining players were eliminated in roll-off ties. The 12 All Star players were selected to represent their teams by having the highest number of PBA or PWBA titles on each team, with an impressive combined total of 248 Tour titles.
202 PBA League All Star Clash Results
Physicality and turnovers: How MSU upset Northwestern in East Lansing
By Joe Dandron Mel Tucker closed his eyes at practice leading up to MSU’s game against Northwestern.
He heard the physicality in a way he hadn’t before.
“In our team run periods when we had the pads on, they started to sound, the practices started to sound like they are supposed to sound,” Tucker said when asked about the practices leading up to Saturday's game. “The physicality, you could close your eyes and actually hear a physical football team on both sides of the ball. When you start to get that feel, you start to get that physicality, it's something that players look forward to.”
The physicality he heard in practice came through in the game Saturday as MSU upset undefeated Northwestern at Spartan Stadium.
It manifested itself in forcing four turnovers and gaining 195 rushing yards on 47 attempts. All those numbers are season highs for MSU.
“In some of our previous games we felt like we were very close in the run game,” Tucker said. “From an offensive line standpoint, tight ends blocking, runners hitting the hole and just understanding where the power of the play is and where the runs need to hit. We had some plays we were able to show our guys (and say), ‘If we do it right, we’re efficient in the run game’, and we were able to build on those.”
Tucker has preached that physicality all season. It was missing as MSU lost 49-7 to Iowa on the road and 24-0 to Indiana at home. But on Saturday, Tucker finally got through to his team in a 29-20 victory over one of the best teams in the Big Ten and FBS.
MSU had four turnovers, the final one for a touchdown with zeroes on the clock to capitalize the upset as Kalon Gervin rolled onto the football in the endzone.
Connor Heyward had 96 rushing yards, and quarterback Rocky Lombardi had 65 of his own. The Spartans imposed their will despite only averaging 73.8 rushing yards a game coming into Saturday’s game.
“I think over the last two weeks we really got better and improved in the run game,” Heyward said after the game. “ We really worked on our craft these past two weeks, having that week off we didn’t take any days off. We went to work everyday whether that was just film or a lift.”
A defense that gave up 49 points to Iowa, only allowed 20 to Northwestern. MSU gave up just 63 total rushing yards in the game on 1.7 yards a carry.
Northwestern, a team that has prided itself on physical dominance all season, met its match in its first loss all year.
Senior tight end Drew Rosi will graduate with his bachelor’s degree in finance on Sunday, Dec. 6
By: Chris Cullum Toledo
Assistant Director of Athletic Communications
When senior tight end Drew Rosi put on his Toledo jersey as a freshman in 2017, he wasn't the first in his family to do so. Nor would he be the last.
Drew's father, Steve Rosi, played tight end for the Rockets from 1992-95, earning first-team All-MAC and honorable mention All-America honors as a senior in 1995. So when Drew had his first meeting position meeting with the other tight ends his freshman year, some of his teammates began to connect the dots.
"It took about a day or two," Drew said. "There's a big picture of my dad with his name, it didn't take long for them to put it together."
Now in his fourth season, Drew has also left his mark on the Rocket football program. He played in 10 games as a true freshman in 2017, helping Toledo win a MAC Championship. He set career highs last year with 18 catches for 238 yards and a pair of touchdowns, including the game-winning TD reception in an overtime win against Eastern Michigan.
Drew has also been an exemplary student since arriving at Toledo. He is a two-time Academic All-MAC honoree and he will graduate this semester with a bachelor's degree in finance from the College of Business and Innovation.
"Drew comes from a great family and he's a guy that understands the importance of handling responsibilities at a high level," head coach Jason Candle said. "He's been that way since the minute he stepped on campus. Drew is a guy that doesn't back away from challenges. He meets them head on."
"As a parent, it feels great to know that one of your children has put forth that much effort and dedication towards something," said Steve Rosi, who played on the last undefeated Rocket team in 1995. "It's a difficult thing to play Division I sports and graduate college while doing as well as Drew has academically. It makes me smile to know what he has been able to accomplish."
Drew is the oldest of the three children in the Rosi family, all of whom are student-athletes. His younger brother Nick maintained the family legacy and followed him to Toledo, earning Freshman All-America honors as an offensive lineman last season. Younger sister Raegan is a freshman on the Wheeling University volleyball team. Living in the Columbus suburb of Powell, most of the conversations around sports unsurprisingly revolved around the Ohio State Buckeyes. But not for the Rosi family.
"Growing up in the Columbus area it was always about Ohio State or Michigan," Drew said. "But I didn't really care about either because I was a Rocket fan."
A standout player at Olentangy Liberty High School, Drew had other opportunities to play college football, but in the end the decision was a no-brainer.
"I had other offers," Drew said. "But the only school that I think really appreciated me and wanted me was Toledo."
Drew had grown up hearing about Toledo football and rooting for the Midnight Blue and Gold; now he would be joining them on the gridiron.
"When I was younger I used to listen to my dad's stories about how it was when he was here," Drew said. "It's cool being here and seeing his picture in the tight end room. It's a great place to be and I'm very fortunate to have the opportunity to play where he did."
Earning the chance to be a Division I student-athlete is an accomplishment in itself, let alone becoming an important contributor on a team. And if there was one person who knew what it felt like to stand in Drew's shoes, it was his father.
Drew (center) with his father Steve (far left), sister Raegan
(second from left), mother Deana (second from right),
and brother Nick (far right).
"I know the dedication and hard work it takes to just being available, and enduring all the bumps and bruises," Steve said. "It means a lot to see him out there. I still get chills."
Last week's game against Eastern Michigan was the first time Steve was not able to see Drew or Nick play in person. They're all only a phone call away though, and Steve has been happy to serve as a resource for his two sons.
"They know I'm here and I've obviously shared a lot with them over the years," Steve said. "But I also know they take care of their business and do things the right way. As a father, I'm actually proud of the times they don't lean on me because I know they're doing okay on their own and thriving."
To steal a phrase from his father, Drew has definitely been taking care of business academically. He carries a 3.72 cumulative grade point average as a finance major and has met the criteria to be an Academic All-America nominee each of the last two seasons. The move to virtual classes this semester has not affected him at all; on the contrary, they're a good fit for his personality.
"I've always liked online classes," Drew said. "I like to get all of my work done as soon as I can so I can have plenty of time for football or to hang out or do whatever I want to do. Having online classes where I can work at my own pace helps with that. I've also had a lot of online classes in the past, so I was used to that type of schedule."
Drew plans to pursue professional football opportunities that become available once he leaves Toledo, and his dream job isn't far removed from his pigskin dreams. One day he would like to put his finance degree to good use and become the CFO of an NFL franchise.
Drew's Toledo journey doesn't end with the Virtual Commencement ceremony on Sunday, Dec. 6. The Rockets' final regular season game is six days later on Dec. 12 against Central Michigan, and he has also enrolled in COBI's graduate program where he will pursue his MBA in finance. The door is not closed on his playing career either; all football student-athletes in NCAA Division I will not accrue a year of eligibility this season, meaning he will be able to return in 2021 if he so desires.
In any case, receiving his bachelor's degree is a natural time to reflect on his time as a Rocket, and one thing is abundantly clear. Not only has Drew Rosi left an impact on the University of Toledo, but the University of Toledo has left an impact on Drew Rosi.
"It's been one of the best decisions I've ever made," Drew said. "Being able to graduate college and pursue a career in football or finance or something else entirely, my time at Toledo will give me the opportunity to be successful in whatever I do. It's something you dream about when you're a kid."
The Battle Royale that wasn't OSU beats back upstart Indiana 42-35
Ohio State junior quarterback Justin Fields (1) rushes the football down the field against Indiana Nov. 21. Credit: Christian Harsa | Assistant Photo Editor
Ohio State got its first top-10 win Saturday, but its play on the field left much to be desired.
The Buckeyes jumped out to a hot start, forcing Indiana into a quick punt on its opening drive and scoring on a two-play drive capped off by a touchdown pass from junior quarterback Justin Fields to sophomore wide receiver Garrett Wilson.
However following that opening drive, Fields’ next three throws would result in two interceptions and an incompletion, allowing the Hoosiers to stick around in the opening half. Although the game would get as narrow as seven points late in the fourth quarter, Ohio State (4-0) would ultimately win the game 42-35 against Indiana (4-
“Really excited to be 4-0,” head coach Ryan Day said Saturday. “Coming off the bye week there and just looking back on everything we’ve been through the last few months, to be 4-0, be first place in the Big Ten East, big, big deal. Couldn’t be prouder of this team.”
Fields went on to finish the game 18-for-30 for 300 yards with 2 touchdowns and 3 interceptions.
Wilson and junior wide receiver Chris Olave continued their stellar play with both reaching the 100-yard mark again. Wilson has reached the century-mark in every game this season, while this is Olave’s third game over 100 yards.
Wilson hauled in seven receptions for 169 yards and two scores, while Olave added 101 yards on eight receptions.
On the ground, redshirt sophomore running back Master Teague III had a career day, finishing the game with a career-high in yards and touchdowns.
GAM PLAYER OF THE YEAR Jackson’s Steve Maddalena Tops 2020 Senior Honor Roll
FARMINGTON HILLS – Jackson’s Steve Maddalena has taken his game to the national stage in recent years, but still manages to star at home at age 60, too.
“Honestly, I’m playing better now than I have in a long time,” he said. “I’m more comfortable with my game and playing against national players has helped.”
Maddalena, a Country Club of Jackson member, is the Golf Association of Michigan (GAM) Senior Men’s Player of the Year, Ken Hartmann senior director of competitions and USGA services, announced today. It’s the second consecutive year that Maddalena has earned the honor.
GAM Players of the Year are determined by the Honor Roll/Player of the Year points system. Player of the Year point totals can be found on a pull down from the PLAY tab at GAM.org.
Last week James Piot of Canton was named the GAM Men’s Player of the Year and Anna Kramer of Spring Lake was named the Women’s Player of the Year. Over the next few weeks the GAM will announce more Players of the Year in gender and age categories.
“It was one of my goals this year – to try and repeat as Senior Player of the Year – and I was fortunate to do that,” said Maddalena, who was elected to the Michigan Golf Hall of Fame in 2007. “The competition is great and it doesn’t get easier. Every year a new group of guys turn 55 and make it even more competitive.”
Most of the national events outside of USGA competitions don’t factor in GAM Player of the Year points, but Maddalena did have four top-10 finishes in significant tournaments around the country. His best finish was a second in the recent Society of Seniors – Founder’s Cup Championship at Pasatiempo Golf Club in Santa Cruz, Calif.
His 393 GAM Player of the Year points were built primarily by winning the Michigan Senior Open in a sudden-death playoff with fellow Hall of Fame member and professional Jeff Roth of Boyne Golf Academy, as well as reaching the semifinals of the GAM Senior Match Play Championship where he was topped by eventual champion Mitch Wilson of Portage.
It was Wilson, a member at the Moors Golf Club and the 2018 Senior Men’s Player of the Year, who finished second in the 2020 Player of the Year point totals with 233 points.
Gregg Bonamici of Grosse Ile Golf & Country Club, the GAM Senior Champion, was third with 200 points. Jerry Gunthorpe of Ovid and Owosso Country Club was third with 190 points, and John Barbour of Grand Rapids and Cascade Hills Country Club rounded out the top five with 150 points.
Barbour lost in a playoff to Bonamici in the GAM Senior Championship at Belvedere, and Maddalena said missing a putt on the final hole of regulation play to miss being part of the playoff was one of his few regrets of the summer.
“I really wanted to win that tournament at Belvedere, one of my favorite courses,” said Maddalena, who won his first of three Michigan Amateur titles at the Charlevoix classic course.
Otherwise, Maddalena, who also won the Jackson City Golf Championship for a record eighth time and became its oldest winner ever, said he had a solid summer and plans to keep playing a combination of Michigan and national tournaments.
“I’ve had a lot of fun traveling around playing against the best players in the country,” he said. “To get ranked in the national top 50 seniors in the country (World Amateur Golf Rankings) was one my goals for the summer and I finished at 46. I would like to keep improving on that. As long as I feel I’m competitive and have a reasonable chance to win, I’ll keep playing like this. As soon as I feel I don’t have a chance to win, I probably will not be playing much and saving myself a lot of money.”
Hartmann said he expects Maddalena to remain competitive for a long time.
“His wedge game is really good, he’s aggressive, he grinds on that short game and doesn’t make big mistakes or big numbers,” he said. “He’s consistent and seems to work on the game like he did when he was younger. He’s a cordial guy, great to be around, not cocky, and very quiet. You don’t know if he is playing great or playing poorly. You just can’t tell from his face because he is locked-in to his game.”
Ally Challenge: Jim Furyk birdies 4 of 5 to pull within one shot of the lead (Leaderboard Below)
The Press (including myself) talk to golf hall of famer Vijay Singh on still dominating on Legends Tour
All that mattered was the fist bump -- not handshake -- with Jack Nicklaus and taking his place along his idol, Seve Ballesteros, as the only Spaniards to reach No. 1 in the world.
With a 2-shot penalty because his ball moved the length of a dimple on his chip-in behind the 16th green, Rahm closed with 3-over 75 for a 3-shot victory over Ryan Palmer.
Rahm got up and down on the final four greens, which made it even sweeter.
One of the best performances of my life,'' Rahm said. "Yesterday was probably one of the best rounds of my life and finished today with some clutch up-and-downs. As a Spaniard, I'm kind of glad it happened that way.''
The fiery emotion is his hallmark. He showed it on a tee shot that sailed left into a creek on the 11th hole, slamming his club into the ground in a pique of anger. It was also evident with a ferocious fist pump after his flop shot from deep rough behind the 16th green rolled into the cup.
Birdie or bogey, it was a winner, a shot that would have made Ballesteros proud.
"I still can't believe it, I'm not going to lie,'' Rahm told Nicklaus off the 18th green.
With the penalty -- Rahm had no idea it was an issue until after his round but accepted the penalty when he saw video that zoomed in on the ball -- he finished at 9-under 279 for his 10th career victory and fourth on the PGA Tour.
Muirfield Village played its toughest in 42 years, with only five players under par, the fewest for the final round since the tournament began in 1976. Rahm's 75 was the highest finish by a winner since Roger Maltbie shot 76 the inaugural year.
The rough wasn't cut all week. The greens were allowed to go to the edge because they are being replaced. Crews stripped the entire fifth green as the leaders were on the back nine.
Rahm looked to be playing a different course. He played bogey-free on the front nine, with birdies on the two par-5s. That put him eight shots clear on his way to No. 1.
Then he made bogey on the 10th. Not a problem.
He yanked his tee shot into a creek on the par-5 11th, and that was a bigger problem, based on how hard he slammed the club into the ground in a pique of anger. He made double-bogey. Palmer made birdie on the 12th, and Rahm made another bogey from the bunker on the 14th.
Just like that, the lead was three shots.
Jon Rahm, pictured above with Jack Nicklaus, closed with a 3-over 75 for a 3-shot victory over Ryan Palmer, marking the highest final round by a Memorial winner since Roger Maltbie shot 76 in the inaugural year in 1976. Aaron Doster/USA TODAY SportsOnly a week ago at Muirfield Village for the Workday Charity Open, Justin Thomas had a 3-shot lead with three holes to play and wound up losing in a playoff to Collin Morikawa.
Rahm was worried that his tee shot might find the back bunker, though the rough was not a great option with how fast the greens were running. Rahm was thinking that anything inside 10 feet would be good. This was perfect, with the ball landing on the fringe and sliding down the slope into the cup.
As for the penalty?
"It doesn't change the outcome of the tournament,'' he said. "It just puts a little bit of an asterisk in it, in the sense of I wish I could just keep that birdie because it was one of the greatest shots of my life, right?''
The chip was similar -- but from a different angle -- to Tiger Woods' chipping in from behind the 16th green when he won the Memorial for the fifth time in 2012.
Woods, in his first competition since Feb. 16 because of the COVID-19 pandemic, shot 76 and tied for 40th.
Matthew Fitzpatrick had a 68 for the low score of the final day to finish third.
The consolation prize went to Palmer (74) and Mackenzie Hughes (72), who earned spots in the U.S. Open in September at Winged Foot as the leading two players from the top 10 who were not already eligible.
Henrik Norlander could have taken the final spot with a par on the 18th, but he missed the fairway well to the right, couldn't reach the green and made bogey. Norlander and Hughes tied at 3-under 285, but the spot went to Hughes because he had the better world ranking.
That ranking now starts with Rahm, who only four years ago was at the Memorial to receive the Jack Nicklaus Award as the nation's best college player.
Now he's the best in the world, a ranking Rory McIlroy had since Feb. 9.
"He deserves it," McIlroy said after his tie for 32nd. "He's been playing great for a long time. Even the display this week, it's pretty impressive."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
By Tyler Kotila- New Jock City-The Detroit Tigers are buried in the rebuild right now, but 2020 is still going to be a make or break season for outfielder JaCoby Jones as he looks to show he belongs.The 2020 season is going to be a crucial one for Detroit Tigers outfielder JaCoby Jones who needs to prove that he belongs in the big leagues after a rough showing the past two seasons. Jones has been in the big leagues for parts of the past four seasons. The main issue with Jones is his plate discipline and lack of patience, leading to far too many strikeouts.
The Tigers outfield this year consists of some familiar faces, even an old friend in the form of Cameron Maybin, but if Jones wants to stick around, he needs to improve and show he belongs. He will get the opportunities this year platooning with Maybin and Víctor Reyes, who will find himself all over.
With Daz Cameron continuing in his route to the big leagues, Jones is going to have some more competition once the prospects within the organization continue developing. That is if he’s still around by that point in time.
In 2019, Jones played in eighty-eight games where he hit .235/.310/.430 with eleven home runs and twenty-six RBI while striking out ninety-four times. Injuries kept Jones on the injured list in 2019, and off the lineup card, he continued to show inconsistency either way.
Back in 2018, in his first “full” season in the big leagues, Jones was not very good posting a .207/.266/.304 with eleven home runs and thirty-four RBI while striking out 142 times on the season. Jones’s inconsistency at the plate has limited his value during his time in the big leagues.
The hope for Jones would be that a strong spring performance would carry over to the regular season, and he can emerge as a true consistent everyday centerfielder.
My take on Detroit Sports News- by Roy J. Akers
The Ally Challenge: Who is more excited, Tom Izzo to meet the Legends or the Legends to meet Izzo?
Musings of a Filterless Reporter-
by Roy J. Akers
The latest in sports and my unfiltered take
Alex Bowman won at Martinsville and Denny Hamlin was not having the late shove that ended his hopes of winning the race. My take after looking at Bowman getting loose happens. While the two drivers traded explanations and insults, Bowman won. Not only does he not qualify for the final as he was already eliminated, Hamlin did. He better have a short memory as defending champion Chase Elliott, Kyle Larson and Kyle Busch are all worthy of the top four and the winner will take home NASCAR's championship in 2021.
The Detroit Lions lost 44-6 yesterday. In my 51 years of watching the team, I have only turned the tv off less than the fingers on one hand. Yesterday, a new finger was added to the list of DNF games played by the team. The Eagles used the Lions like the Harlem Globetrotters use the Washington Generals. (Heck, do those guys still play?) The Eagles carved up huge yardage during the game and did whatever they wanted to the Motor City Kitties. Dan Campbell better get this team motivated fast. There are 17 NFL games in 2017 and at 0-8, fans are showing up less at Ford Field and will look toward other NFL games. This team is pretty bad with not much reason to watch for the rest of 2021.
Hey, sometimes the best team wins the Solheim Cup. Here's a timeline to a win and my take
After the US went down 5 ½ to 2 ½ after day one of the Solheim Cup, the Americans win three of four morning matches and trail 6 ½ to 5 ½. The Americans cough up the one-point deficit in the afternoon four ball matches. Their two-match deficit has the Yanks training 9 to 7 to Team Europe.
2:15 pm. Observations: The Korda sisters are mortal. Well, we knew that but when you win four tournaments and a Olympic Golf Medal between the two, you expect a lot. Neither sister played great.
2:28 pm Sorry to say, but the same went for Lexi Thompson. She dropped matches on Friday and Saturday.
2:44pm -In a Nelly Korda sighting, she now leads her match by two holes after 9. At 2:59pm, its back to one.
2:58 pm. In a gut check moment, the Americans, who put up some red on the board after a third of the day, saw blue paint the scoreboard as seven of ten matches are now in the hands of Team Europe.
3pm- Now, eight of the ten matches are controlled by Team Europe. Escargot anyone?
3:19pm Of the eight matches in the European lead column, five are by a single shot.
3:25- Lexi misses a short birdie putt. With three holes to go, she trails by one.
3:30- Jennifer Kupcho misses her par putt. This is the first loss for the Yanks on Sunday. Its 10-7 Europe.
3:39- With Thompson and Ally Ewing now trailing by one hole, the Americans trail 8 to four in single matches and all players have at least started their back nine.
3:51 Ally Ewing misses a birdie putt on 16. Sagstrom finishes the match with a birdie. The final is 3 and 2. 11-7 Euros.
3:56 The Europeans win their third consecutive match as Boutier whipes out Harigae 5&4. Europe now leads 12-7.
4:09 For Team USA, Maria Salas has birdied number 13 and has made her match all square.
4:13 Thompson and Nordqvist finish their match halved. Europe leads 12 ½ to 7 ½.
4:22- Looking at the numbers, the Americans lead in four of the six remaining matches with two more all square. They need to win those four matches. Then they need the two AS matches and need to take one more point from a match the Europeans lead. My pencil is dull, but trying to find a way.
4:30 Nelly Korda nearly holes a birdie, but it was enough to finish off Georgia Hall. It is the American’s first win today in the fifth match of the day. 8 ½ to 12 ½
4:31 Brittany Altomare makes the anaconda and squares the match after 14.
4:47- Not much has changed on the math front. The matches are still basically the same except Danielle Kang now trails by two in her final match against Emily Pedersen.
4:48 The Americans have been dancing around the hole all day with hardly a made putt to show for it. Momma told me there would be days like these.
5:00 Sophia Popov wins her third straight hole to cut the Khang lead to three with three to play.
5:01 Lizette Salas hits a rope to eight feet. She could tie her match. Nope. She misses her putt. She makes the comebacker and the Yanks have a slight chance. Castren makes her putt and guarantees the Europeans at least a half point.
5:13 Khang closes out Popov with a par and wins the match 3&2. Europe 13, USA 10.
5:18 Matilda Castren stares down a putt after Salas misses her putt. She makes and The Euros are now sitting at 14. Europe 14, USA 10.
At 5:20pm, Europe clinches when Emily Pedersen was guaranteed a half point being up over Danielle Kang by three.
Thoughts on NASCAR at Indy, James Piot and Tiger promotions of top draft picks
“In my wildest dreams I could never imagine the way that just played out,” Allmendinger said.
Well, that about sums it up for AJ Allmendinger, whose name was never mentioned until there were two laps to go on Sunday. When Chase Briscoe clipped Denny Hamlin in overtime on Sunday, NASCAR really only has about a dozen cars that realistically have a shot of winning in any given CUP race and for a former full-time cup rider gaining rides only on road courses, Allmendinger won a race for the little guys.
Bet you Bubba Wallace, who has never won a race would love to break through. So would multiple winner Erik Jones, who is still racing for his 2022 ride with Petty Enterprises, which is the black hole of racers looking for wins.
+ Well, the crowd appeared to be decent at Indy. I was there a few years ago and it was embarrassing for NASCAR to basically have 250k seats for a race and barely 10k show up. They announced 40k, but there was no chance of that.
I love the new track owner Roger Penske thinking about a new way to spice up the race. The infield course was a great way to do it and the NASCAR drivers coming down turn one backwards down the straight was an interesting twist. For me, a big change is to have a racing doubleheader. The road course on Saturday, a concert on Saturday evening and racing at the famed oval on Sunday. Make it a combo ticket.
James Piot wins the US Amateur. He is the first Michigander to ever win the tournament. I covered Piot as a high schooler a few years back and he is a very good player. Talented and more. His work ethic shows you that he can drive the ball 350 yards, but in the end, the tortoise won the match and Piot has made Michigan golfers proud. It will be great seeing him with the 10- year amateur exemption that no winner ever uses. He will be in the Master's and US Open field next year. I bet you Piot will work even harder if that is possible to make sure he is ready to make the cut and earn a check.
Finally, Spencer Torkelson, Riley Greene and Ryan Kreidler from Erie to Toledo. Torkelson and Greene most likely will be ready for the big club out of spring training in 2022, but don't expect to see them with the Tigers until they mess up their service time to gain their services for an extra year. So, the kids will continue to come.
Al Avila is emptying out the farm system so players put up, or shut up.
You can't blame Al Avila. After the Tigers traded away both Justin Verlander and JD Martinez back in 2018, it was very apparent that the Tigers teams that appeared in two World Series in seven seasons was over. As a matter of fact, the decline of Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez were already in free fall and Avila just popped the already deflated balloon and kicked it down the road.
Unlike the NFL draft which is also a crap shoot, the MLB is nearly speculative gambling compared to football players who for the most part, have four years of big time experience. With MLB, high school kids are mixed in with the college players and it makes for spectacular finds and flaming misses.
Avila has made a market correction with his picks and has taken stock of all of his picks since 2014. Derek Hill, the first rounder in 2014 was promoted last year and sputtered badly and got another chance earlier this season. He quickly ended up on the injured list and is rehabbing in Toledo. The jury is out on Hill.
Avila also decided to take stock of his 2015 first round high school selection Beau Burrows. Burrows has largely floundered in the minors and his ceiling found him no higher than the mid minors. Avila cut bait with him earlier the season where the Cubs are trying to find a way to promote him to the big league club.
Casey Mize has the best arm in the Tigers organization and this 2018 first rounder was thrown into the fire last season and struggled. After a bumpy start in 2021, he has smoothed his stats out and is getting better to the point of being considered as Detroit's all-star representative, although it went to relief pitcher Gregory Soto.
The Tigers last two first rounders will most likely get the call next season. Spencer Torkelson, last years first rounder and Riley Greene, the outfielder taken in 2019 could see action late this season when the rosters expand.
Avila has little cash to spend on veterans and the minor leaguers are getting their trial by fire. Even if they sink in early promotions, both the organization and the players are getting great feedback.
Avila needs to keep the momentum going. His first round selection in 2021 will get a season or two in the minors and then its show time. I thought he might go with Jack Leiter, the mostly polished pitcher from Vanderbilt who is a senior and could plug him in with those already mentioned. The rumor is it will be a high school shortstop or pitcher Jackson Jobe. Those guys will be 2-4 seasons away. Stay tuned.
The demise of Kyle Busch is premature thank goodness!
What went well and not so well at Pocono
First of all, a couple of exciting races at Pocono over the weekend. Usually, fuel mileage races are ... Boring. But for this past weekend, they were exciting. The multiple lead changes as cars gambled on a late caution that never came saw drivers that had a shot to win the race fall to a top-ten finish instead of lose valuable points and a 30th finish or worse. NASCAR had a winner of a weekend. They really listened both internally to new voices and the fans who wanted change and got it. Heck, if you are going to take racing dates away from Michigan, Pocono and others that had multiple weekends, then add a second race and some undercard races. Make the CUP races a little shorter and add a Truck or ARCA race in the morning. More on all of the NASCAR changes another time but the 2021 schedule has been a winner.
So, here are the winners from the Pocono weekend.
1. Kyle Busch. Kyle wondered if he was washed up at the top level with a long losing streak dating back to 2020. Well, he gambled and won in the second race. He was driving a wounded car with transmission issues and had to drive very smartly to stay near the lead. Think of your own car having only fourth gear and being stopped at a red light. The lack of a late caution turned Busch into a two-time winner this year.
-Alex Bowman-Bowman's career has always been tepid until taking over the #48 from the NASCAR HOF to be Jimmie Johnson. He has three wins this season to go along with 5 top fives and ten top tens. Bowman does have three DNF's this year.
- Kyle Larson won this weekend even though he did not score a win in either or the Pocono races. He was a half-lap short from winning his fifth race in a row when he ran out of gas and finished 8th. In the second race, he finished right behind Kyle Busch for a second place finish. How lucky for Hendrick Motorsports to have arguably the top two talents in the sport with Larson and Chase Elliott. This could be the best racing duel moving forward since Richard Petty and David Pearson dominated their sports.
The Bad- The bad is taking the week off this week.
Jon Rahm got his revenge at Torrey Pines
When Jon Rahm closed with back to back birdies at Torrey Pines to become the first Spaniard to win the US Open, it could not have happened to a more deserving guy. After being disqualified with a six shot lead two weeks ago with a positive result to a Covid test, Rahm sat in the weeds in this tournament. Coming into Sunday with a two under score, he had to leap nearly a dozen competitors to get to four under going into the 17th hole. His back to back birdies on 17 and 18 were a good omen asLouis Ooshuizen had five holes to play and in the uncertain US Open with playing conditions penal, Rahm just to sit and wait. In the end, he won from the bench and a playoff was not needed. Ooshuizen played well, he just did not get a birdie on 17 or 18 and Rahm won the entire thing. The game of golf is better for it.
MAC Announces 2020 Football All-MAC and Specialty Awards Buffalo junior running back Jaret Patterson tabbed the winner of the 39th Vern Smith Leadership Award as the top player in the MAC